- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: October 5, 2004
- Label: RCA
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Leaving on a Jet Plane
- 2.Take Me Home, Country Roads
- 3.Sunshine on My Shoulders
- 4.Poems, Prayers and Promises
- 5.The Eagle and the Hawk
- 6.Rocky Mountain High
- 7.Farewell Andromeda (Welcome to My Morning)
- 8.Annie's Song
- 9.Back Home Again
- 10.Sweet Surrender
- 11.Thank God I'm a Country Boy
- 12.I'm Sorry
- 14.Fly Away
- 15.Looking for Space
- 16.Like a Sad Song
- 17.My Sweet Lady
- 18.Perhaps Love
- 19.Shanghai Breezes
- 20.Wild Montana Skies
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.Leaving on a Jet Plane - (previously unreleased, original version)
- 2.Weight, The - (previously unreleased)
- 3.Annie's Song - (Acoustic Mix, previously unreleased, acoustic version)
- 4.Calypso - (Acoustic Mix, previously unreleased, acoustic version)
Initials pressings include bonus disc.
Personnel: John Denver (vocals, guitar); Emmylou Harris, Pl cido Domingo (vocals).
Audio Mixer: Chris Theis.
Liner Note Authors: Milton Okun; David Wild.
Recording information: Goldstar Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (??/1966-04/1983).
Photographer: Lowell Norman.
Arrangers: John Denver; Milton Okun; Dick Kniss; Lee Holdridge ; Mike Taylor .
Placing the word definitive on a best-of collection is usually a panicked label attempt to fill last-minute Christmas stockings, but in the case of RCA's Definitive All-Time Greatest Hits John Denver retrospective, it's a truly apt description. Coinciding with the 35th anniversary of Denver's first album release on RCA, the two-disc, 24-track overview of the country-pop singer's storied career is the most concise and nuanced yet. Digitally remastered from the original master tapes, road-trip classics like "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "Rocky Mountain High," and "Back Home Again" are as warm as the singer's lauded tenor. There are no gimmicky re-recorded cuts or disappointing live tracks -- "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" spent its time on the charts in its live incarnation -- and his spotty '80s material is only briefly covered ("Perhaps Love" and "Shanghai Breezes"). The only real omission is "Grandma's Feather Bed," but the 20-page booklet and song-by-song commentary by longtime friend Milt Okun more than suffice. The bonus disc, maddeningly sparse at just four tracks, makes up for its brevity by including a goose bump-inducing 1975 acoustic version of "Calypso." With the pompous string section, clanging ship bell, and unnecessary drum fills removed, his ode to Jacques Cousteau's tenacious vessel is a wonder of emotion and nautical kinsmenship that inarguably exhibits Denver as one of the greatest vocalists of his time. For those unwilling to sift through the exhaustive four-CD Country Roads Collection, this Definitive package is a good buy and a rewarding visit with an old friend.